Still no signed landfill contract between the county and WMI

Posted in Commentary, Commissioners Court, County Judge, Hutto, Landfill, Precinct 4, Uncategorized, Williamson County at 10:42 am by wcnews

Despite the fact that on February 10, 2009 the county stated it had a verbal agreement with Waste Management, Inc. on a new contract for the county’s landfill, as of this posting it still hasn’t been signed or released for the public to see. Here’s some context from the latest Hutto Citizens Group newsletter [.pdf]:

And on February 10, after a marathon session of contract activities which included shuffling people and handwritten documents among rooms in the county courthouse, the
WCCC emerged from its second executive session of the day at just after 5 p.m., and County Judge Dan Gattis announced that the county had reached a final agreement with WMI on the
landfill contract, and that the new “agreement” would be posted on the county’s website.


Consistent with the release of the two previous contract drafts on February 3 and February 10, citizens and the public reasonably expected that this new “verbal agreement” would
be posted quickly on the county’s website, in accordance with Gattis’ statement on February 10. But in the days following the announced finalization of the terms of the “agreement” on
February 10, a written document containing the “agreement” hasn’t been posted on the county’s website and hasn’t been otherwise released, despite a variety of promises and explanations.


Changes to the county’s proposal won’t be released until attorneys from both sides put it in writing, which may take a few days, said County Judge Dan A. Gattis, chairman of the
Commissioners Court. The contract will be posted before commissioners vote, possibly in two or three weeks, Gattis said. There were no major changes from what the county proposed last week, he said.

So, regarding the timing, which is it—a few days or two or three weeks, and why is there such a broad discrepancy within the same paragraph, not to mention the discrepancy from what Covey said?

On the afternoon of February 11, Morrison told a member of the HCG that he expected the contract to be released in “a day or two”, and he even offered to check on its progress. But then,
on the morning of February 12, he told attendees at the Hutto Economic Development Corporation’s “power breakfast” (as reported by an HCG member) that the agreement wouldn’t be
finalized for another three to four weeks, and in perhaps two weeks “if we’re lucky.”

Meanwhile, Connie Watson, the county’s public information officer, told a member of the HCG on February 11 that she expected the written agreement to be available before the end of the week. But on Friday, after being re-contacted, she said it wouldn’t be available before Tuesday, February 17, since WMI attorneys had to review and return the language, and then Covey and Long (as members of the negotiating committee)
would have to review it before anything could be released.


If Williamson County really believes it has a solid agreement with WMI, it should release its written version of that agreement immediately. Based on what has already been said by the county regarding this entire matter, there is no justification for waiting even a day more. In fact, it should already have happened.

Yes, minor changes usually take three weeks to a month to add to a contract. This is just par for the course in Williamson County.

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